Project Description

October 19, 2020

Attachment

Today’s resources come from Dr. Dan Siegel.  Four videos follow, each one provides a 2 – 3 minute overview of each of the four attachment types: Secure, Insecure Avoidant, Insecure Ambivalent, and Insecure Disorganized.

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers courses that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes.

Secure Attachment

These statements represent some of the unconscious thoughts a very young child may have if they have a secure attachment:

  • I can be curious and freely explore
  • I can anticipate your responses
  • I can be consoled by you when I need you
  • I can display a wide range of emotions and be accepted by you
  • I can protest when my needs are not met and you will respond appropriately
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Insecure Avoidant Attachment

These statements represent some of the unconscious thoughts a very young child may have if they have an insecure avoidant attachment:

  • If I need you, I will get rejected or rebuffed so I better not need
  • I have to be vigilant so I can protect myself and not have unexpected needs
  • If I deny my needs for closeness and comfort, I won’t get rejected
  • Others who show their needs are distasteful (and weak)
  • The world is a lonely place
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Insecure Ambivalent Attachment

These statements represent some of the unconscious thoughts a very young child may have if they have an insecure ambivalent attachment.

  • My caregivers are unpredictable so I better not stray too far in case I need them and I better “exaggerate” or “up” my attachment behaviors
  • I never know what to expect which leaves me frustrated, anxious, fearful and angry
  • I have to work hard to make sure I can engage my caregiver then I might get what I need
  • I don’t feel whole by myself
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Disorganized Attachment

These statements represent some of the unconscious thoughts a very young child may have if they have an insecure disorganized attachment:

  • I am frightened/terrified and don’t know what to do (vulnerable and helpless)
  • The world is not safe
  • There are no good options for feeling calmer
  • My body feels disconnected
  • I could explode with the tension
  • No one understands me
  • Nothing I do makes me feel any better
  • I am helpless
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